U.S. Rep. John Kline Named Worst Congressman in Bill Maher's "Flip a District" Contest

Categories: Congress
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HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher
Last week, Bill Maher announced the end of his "Flip a District" contest, in which viewers could vote for the worst representative with the hope of ousting that person this fall.

The winner? Or more accurately, the loser? John Kline of Minnesota's 2nd Congressional District.

See also:
U.S. Rep. John Kline makes it to final four of Bill Maher's #FlipADistrict Contest



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Sen. Al Franken's and Amy Klobuchar's Constitutional Amendment Is Shot Down

Categories: Congress
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U.S. senators Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar
The U.S. Senate blocked a constitutional amendment Thursday that would've allowed states and the federal government to put caps on corporate political spending.

The fact that it got to the floor at all may be the biggest surprise here. Every Republican voted against the amendment, and every Dem who was present voted for it, including U.S. senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, both co-sponsors.

See also:
Senators Al Franken, Amy Klobuchar push to limit corporate campaign donations



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Sen. Al Franken finds favor and distrust at north Minneapolis block party

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Jesse Marx
U.S. Sen. Al Franken at the Broadway Day Block Party
Saturday's Broadway Day Block Party was an opportunity for north Minneapolis to celebrate the end of summer and bask in its cultural goodness. Community organizers enlisted new recruits, musicians wailed, and the hungry salivated over roasted cayenne-peppered corn.

It was, in some ways, a miniature version of the Minnesota State Fair with one notable constant: the presence of U.S. Sen. Al Franken.

See also:
Senators Al Franken, Amy Klobuchar push to limit corporate campaign donations



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Senators Al Franken, Amy Klobuchar push to limit corporate campaign donations

Categories: Congress
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Minnesota senators Al Franken and Amy Klobuchar
Next month, a constitutional amendment that would allow states and the federal government to put caps on corporate campaign donations is expected to come up for a vote in the Senate. It has the support of both Al Franken and was hailed by Amy Klobuchar earlier this summer as a way "to restore the right of individual Americans to have their voices heard" over special interests.

If approved, it would overturn the precedents set by two recent U.S. Supreme Court decisions -- Citizens United v. F.E.C. and McCutcheon v. F.E.C. -- that allow corporations to spend a limitless amounts of cash to get pols elected. But by all accounts, the Senate amendment -- and its companion in the House -- is also, at least for now, a hopeless cause.

See also:
Lawmakers wanted to reform campaign finance laws this year. So what happened?



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U.S. Rep. John Kline makes it to final four of Bill Maher's #FlipADistrict Contest

Categories: Congress

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HBO's Real Time with Bill Maher
Earlier this year, HBO's Bill Maher launched a new website known as "Flip A District," where viewers could ponder the worst U.S. representative. The hope was that bad publicity would oust one poor bastard from power in the next election.

For months, the votes poured in through Twitter, and on Friday, Maher announced the first pol to make it to the final four bracket: John Kline of Minnesota's 2nd Congressional District.

See also:
John Kline presents GOP position on health care at President Obama's summit

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New report finds dangerous levels of arsenic across Minnesota wells

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The Center for Public Integrity
Minnesotans are at risk of consuming dangerous levels of arsenic in their food and water, according to weekend report released by the Center for Public Integrity.
 
Whether there's such a thing as a safe level of arsenic is debatable, though even small amounts of the toxin have been linked to lower IQ scores in children and instances of cancer in adults. At home, researchers found that the concentration of arsenic in an alarming number of groundwater wells exceeded 10 parts per billion -- the ceiling set by the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Dozens tested positive for more than 50 parts per billion.

See also:
How undercover animal rights activists are winning the Ag-Gag war



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Dakota descendants sue landowners and other Indians to reclaim part of southern Minnesota

Categories: Congress
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Doug Wallick via Flickr
Statue outside the Jackpot Junction Casino in Morton and the site of contested land
Descendants of Dakota Indians are suing southern Minnesota property owners to set up a new reservation on land that was once promised by the federal government. A class-action lawsuit filed Tuesday seeks to evict the current inhabitants of 12 square miles northwest of New Ulm and asks for monetary damages based on 150 years of what's being labeled as trespassing.

The argument stems from an 1863 act of Congress that set aside 7,680 acres for the band of Mdewakantons who had either stayed out of the U.S.-Dakota War or protected settlers.

See also:
Colleges decline to compete against UND because of Fighting Sioux nickname



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Rep. Diane Loeffler tells feds to get moving on marijuana research

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Dank Depot
About the only thing people can agree on when it comes to the medical marijuana debate is that the federal government isn't helping. Many of the disputes at the state level wouldn't be necessary if the Drug Enforcement Administration would reconsider its classification of the plant as a Schedule One narcotic and expedite, rather than hold up, serious research on its medicinal value.

Troubled by this, Rep. Diane Loeffler (DFL-Minneapolis) introduced a resolution Thursday that calls upon President Obama and Congress to force those federal agencies into action.

See also:
When will medical marijuana be legal in Minnesota?



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Rick Nolan calls on Obama to "man up" and fire somebody over Obamacare website debacle

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We can say this about Nolan -- he isn't shy about calling out Obama administration officials, including the president himself.
Last month, Rick Nolan went toe to toe with John Kerry over Syria policy. Now, Minnesota's Democratic 8th congressional district representative is putting the president on blast.

SEE ALSO: Obama mocks Michele Bachmann's worry that Obamacare "literally kills women"

This week, Nolan, speaking about the Obamacare website debacle, called on President Obama to "man up, find out who was responsible, and fire them," according to an AP report. He used the same "man up" phrase during an interview with WCCO, adding that "I feel that the people responsible for this did a terrible disservice to the Affordable Care Act and to the president by allowing this thing to go forward when they knew it wasn't ready."

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Rick Nolan says he's expected to spend twice as much time fundraising as on actual legislative work

Categories: Congress, Politics
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"Members are saying there's no sense in running if I'm not going to have more money than the other guy," Nolan told the Strib.
Think serving in Congress sounds fun? Well, consider this: According to new Congressman Rick Nolan, just three months after being elected, he's already expected to spend four hours each day working the phones in preparation for the next election.

SEE ALSO: Michele Bachmann is making shit up in her latest fundraising e-mail

So maybe the best training for a job as a Representative or Senator is extensive experience in the realm of phone sales.

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